Friday, 17 May 2013

Keeping to A Budget

And Eating Healthily ( Part 2)

Frugal Friday

As I said in my last post on this subject - two of my favourite topics rolled into one!

Eating Heathily

I mentioned previously that we have been following  Tosca Renos Eating Clean diet.

Tosca Reno - Eat Clean

The reason behind this was twofold. While, on the whole do eat pretty healthily and I cook most of my meals from scratch, we were becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of sugar we consumed without even realising it. My husband also wanted to lose some weight that he had gained through being unable to exercise due to a damaged muscle.

The Eating Clean principles see you cutting out processed food and sugar, and adding in as many natural food elements as possible. You eat a lot more protein  than you would naturally do. You are also encouraged to eat 6 times a day to keep energy and metabolism stable. This is the biggest change for me. I could easily eat porridge for breakfast then go all day without anything before crashing at 4pm and eating toast and jam. Not good!

Do you realise how many items contain sugar ? Do what I did and go through your cupboard and look at the ingredient lists of the sauces and cereals you have. You may be a little shocked - as I was. Sugar features in everything. Here are some interesting articles on processed sugar.

If you want more details of the plan have a look at her site here. It makes very interesting reading. Basically the longer you spend in the fruit and veg aisles and the longer you spend buying products that look like they did at the beginning of their journey ( pre processing) the better you will be doing.

My husband has lost just over a stone so far. I would say he has been doing this seriously for about a month. He is still unable to exercise. The loss has been through the eating plan alone. I am hoping that it will help me with my immune system and my health as I return to teaching too.

Keeping to a Budget

However, my dillema of course is how do I keep my budget down and still maintain this healthy lifestyle? We are a family of 5 so our food bills could easily run away with us. Despite this I have realised that just because we are eating healthily it doesn't have to cost lots more. The only item I find increases my food bill considerably is meat so I am careful about how much I factor in. Fresh fruit and veg does not need to cost the earth and can be a useful filler of stews and soups. I have found a local bulk supplier of my nuts and seeds which keeps that cost right down. I think sometimes we feign horror at the cost of some healthy foods, yet we don't hesitate when throwing a multi pack of crisps or biscuits in the trolley without a second thought to the cost. Just a thought.....

Can we put a price on our health?

The kids are embracing the meals, but to be honest they eat anything that I don't lock away so that doesn't surprise me! 

This is what I have learnt so far:

  • Plan your meals
  • Protein doesn't have to come just in the form of meat
  • Plan to have leftovers that you can use for meals the following day.
  • Buy items such as nuts and apricots in bulk . SO much cheaper.
  • Find reliable local suppliers of meat and veg. They may not be organic, but are as good as, but cheaper. The organic standards are quite high and some suppliers just haven't been trading long enough to meet the requirements - thats all.
  • The tinned and whole foods asiles are eating clean havens and not expensive. Black bean curry with wholegrain rice - yum.
  • Buy organic on the things that matter to you and that you can afford. 
  • Make reasoned, sensible decisions.
  • Cut back on/out the expensive unhealthy snacks, more money for the good stuff!
  • Make your own healthy cakes, snacks, granola - cheaper and you know what's in them.
A lot if these principles I was following anyway. I think the biggest changes have been:

  • The removal of sugar from our diets
  • The increase of protein and wholegrains
  • Eating more often and regularly
  • Smaller portions ( for hubby!)

Have you tried the Eating Clean Plan at all?

How do you continue to keep your food budget down and yet maintain a healthy element to your menus?

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  1. I try and follow the clean and lean approach, but every so often the carb's and sugar demon gets the better of me! xx

  2. Never tried this plan before. But, I do look at all the labels of foods that I buy. I have a program on my phone that tells me what all the label words mean so I'm not buying anything I don't understand. Very important as they try to hide stuff on labels so easily by calling it something else. Have a great weekend x

  3. I really should try and adopt this approach Claire - I eat throughout the day anyway otherwise my blood sugar can't take it and I struggle to find constant snacks that are always healthy and end up with biscuits and tea after school - I'm obviously not trying hard enough! Unfortunately I love my carbs + have a terribly sweet tooth. How can you not eat from breakfast until 4 though - I'd pass out! You're right - the amount of hidden sugars we consume without realising is ridiculous - funny I was only thinking about that the other day! xx

    1. It really shocked me how much sugar is hidden in things - even the "healthy" stuff. The kids are still having sugar in things but I feel it is more controlled as I know if I can see it or Ive made it. I think I worry more as my eldest has such issues with his health I'm sure it effects him. I was shocked to see there is even sugar in stuff like Bran flakes and Weetabix. I'm trying not to be too silly about it, but it's no wonder I'm always tired!!! I have a sweet tooth too - I made some of Tosca Renos Muffins and sweetened them with honey and they were lovely. After 4 weeks I've lost the yearning for really sweet chocolate all the time - did I just say that!! Must shut up ! XXX

  4. Wow - I am an in awe - I wish My family would eat as well.